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Workshop: Workshop on Distribution Shifts: New Frontiers with Foundation Models

AutoFT: Robust Fine-Tuning by Optimizing Hyperparameters on OOD Data

Caroline Choi · Yoonho Lee · Annie Chen · Allan Zhou · Aditi Raghunathan · Chelsea Finn

Keywords: [ adaptation ] [ foundation models ] [ Few-Shot Learning ] [ Meta-Learning ] [ hyperparameter optimization ] [ robust fine-tuning ]


Foundation models encode a rich representation that can be adapted to a desired task by fine-tuning on task-specific data.However, fine-tuning a model on one particular data distribution often compromises the model's original performance on other distributions.Current methods for robust fine-tuning utilize various hand-crafted regularization techniques to constrain the fine-tuning process towards the base foundation model.Yet, it is hard to directly specify what characteristics of the foundation model to retain during fine-tuning, as this is influenced by the complex interplay between the pre-training, fine-tuning, and evaluation distributions.We propose AutoFT, a data-driven method for guiding foundation model adaptation: optimizing hyperparameters for fine-tuning with respect to post-adaptation performance on a small out-of-distribution (OOD) validation set.We find that when optimizing hyperparameters for OOD generalization, it is especially beneficial to use a highly expressive hyperparameter space such as per-layer learning rates and loss weight coefficients.Our evaluation demonstrates state-of-the-art performance on OOD distributions unseen during fine-tuning and hyperparameter optimization.

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